Posts Tagged ‘talent management’

Talent: The Hot Topic for 2014

Thursday, February 13th, 2014


2014 is the year for Talent. Companies need to keep their eye on their talent, as well as re-invest in their people.  Studies show that 2014 is the year people will finally consider or make a job move. Add to this the fact that organizations looking to retain talent are expected to spend money on learning and development.

What are you doing to find this talent hitting the job market?

What are you doing to develop your talent?

How are you keeping employees satisfied and productive?

#1: Recruiting and Selection: One in Five Workers Plan to Change Jobs in 2014. Twenty-one percent of full-time employees plan to change jobs in 2014, the largest amount in the post-recession era and up from 17 percent in 2013, according to a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive from Nov. 6 to Dec. 2. The survey participants included 3,008 full-time, private sector employees across industries and company sizes.

#2:  Job Satisfaction: A drop in job satisfaction may account for the expected rise in turnover. Fifty-nine percent of workers are satisfied with their jobs, down from 66 percent in 2013; 18 percent are dissatisfied, up from 15 percent last year. Those who are dissatisfied cite concerns over salary (66 percent) and not feeling valued (65 percent) most often as reasons for their dissatisfaction, according to the Harris Interactive survey.

#3: Talent Development:  In November and December of 2013, Corporate Learning Network surveyed dozens of learning and development leaders. Here are key findings:

  • Learning and training is hot again. After years of reduced budgets, more than half of learning and training leaders surveyed projected increased budgets in 2014. YEAH!
  • Classroom training still accounts for the majority of spending, but L&D leaders continue to allocate more funds to blended learning. GREAT IDEA!
  • Aligning learning with the company’s growth objectives tops the list of how learning and training executives plan their future budgets allocations.  A MUST!
  • Two in five learning and training leaders are not aware of their competitors’ learning and training methods. This is a major blind spot. YIKES!

Talent on the move can be an opportunity or liability for your company. Which will it be?

EE = EBITDA: Transforming Human Capital into Financial Capital.

Monday, January 21st, 2013

By Guest Blogger, Jeffrey Deckman

EE = EBITDA is an obscure but interesting formula that, once I came to understand it, I realized uncovers an exciting new source of increased profits that any business can realize.

The “blow up” of this formula is:

Employee Engagement = Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation Amortization

Before going any further I want to say that Employee Engagement (EE) is certainly not the only factor that impacts EBITDA but it does have a significant impact on your bottom line. It just also happens to be one of the easiest ways to increase profitability you will ever come across.


Because, of all the ways to increase profits such as increasing prices; decreasing costs and generating more sales increasing your levels of EE is almost completely within your control. This is because EE is largely determined by the leadership culture of your organization. And you get to control that.

In fact, a recent Melcrum Employment Engagement Survey of over 1600 HR professionals found that “The actions of senior leaders and direct managers are the most important drivers of employee engagement by a factor of between 400% and 700%.

So not only is this “silent profit driver” largely in your control but the financial impact of increasing the levels of EE in your organization is undeniably real.

In fact, I doubt you could find a single CEO of a Fortune 500 company who even questions whether increasing EE increases EBITDA.

The Numbers Behind the Science

In an effort to be as informative as possible as quickly as possible let me get right to the math.

A recent study done by the Gallup Group in October of 2011 involving thousands of participants revealed that, on average, 71% of people are “disengaged” from their work. Within this group 55% are considered “not engaged”. These people do their jobs but not much more. The other 16% are considered “actively disengaged”. These are people who are actually working against the best interests of the organization.

This leaves only 29% of the workforce who are considered “highly engaged”. These are the ones who put in extra time; think about their jobs during off hours and are energized. They are the ones who generate the most per capita profit.

This means that 7 out of 10 people in organizations are not engaged in their work. Imagine the lost productivity and profits that represents! And in today’s economy this can spell death to an organization.

The High Cost of Low Employee Engagement

Let’s look at how the level of EE in your organization affects your profitability.

The following EE vs. Productivity numbers are generally accepted throughout the industry, give or take a few percentage points:

•   “Highly engaged” workers are 90% productive

•   “Not engaged” workers are 60% productive

•   “Actively disengaged” workers are 40% productive.

When you combine the EE and the productivity numbers the impact on profits becomes clear:

•   29% are highly engaged and are 90% productive.

.29 * .90 * 100 = 26.1% productivity level

•   55% are not engaged and are 60% productive.

.55 * .60 * 100 = 33% productivity level

•   16% are actively disengaged and are 40% productive.

.16 * 40 *100 = 6.4% productivity level

This means that your overall productivity levels are:

26.1% + 33% + 6.4% = 65.5%

To make this real let’s assume a company spends $2 million on employee compensation. Under this scenario their ROI on that investment is:

2,000,000.00 * 65.5% = 1,310,000.00.

This represents a $690,000 “payment vs. performance” gap.

The Big Difference of a Small Adjustment

Now let’s look at the impact to your bottom line that will occur if you simply increase the highly engaged numbers by only 5% and decrease the actively disengaged numbers by the same amount. And if your company is like most, and if you decide to make EE a priority in your organization, moving your EE numbers 5% in this fashion is not unrealistic at all.

WARNING: These numbers are almost un-believable!

•   34% are now highly engaged @ 90% productivity.

.34 * .90 * 100 = 30.6% productivity level

•   55% are still not engaged and still 60% productive.

.55 * .60 * 100 = 33% productivity level

•   11% are now actively disengaged and are 40% productive.

.11 * 40 *100 = 4.4% productivity level

New productivity levels = 30.6% + 33% + 4.4% = 68%

New Profitability Calculations: 2,000,000.00 * 68% = $1,360,000.00

This represents a $50,000 improvement in the “payment vs. performance” gap in only one year!

What is also important to realize is that as long as you keep your management teams fine-tuned and your culture healthy this $50,000.00 continues to flow to the bottom line year after year. Imagine the impact to your Retained Earnings and the value of your business that this will have in just a few short years.

All of a sudden investing in developing solid management teams with excellent leadership skills becomes one of the most important and easy ways to drive significant profits right to your bottom line.

In Closing

If you are like I was when I first started looking at these figures, your initial thinking may be that they can’t be right. But I can tell you that study after study from organizations ranging from the Harvard Business School to the McKinsey Group prove them out.

So while we have all been trained to increase profits by cutting costs; capturing more clients and negotiating for higher prices few of us have been taught how to activate one of the most significant profit drivers available to us: increased Employee Engagement.

And at a time when profits are very tight, competition is tough and the market is demanding it should be very comforting to realize that with just a few internal adjustments you can uncover a source of profits that will not only increase your bottom line but will also increase company morale.

During economic times such as these understanding the EE=EBITDA formula can be a real life saver.


Jeffrey Deckman is the founder of Capability Accelerators, a consulting firm that specializes in helping clients convert human capital into financial capital. If you have questions or comments he can be reached at: or

Attention Talent Providers

Sunday, August 19th, 2012


According to a recent article published in The Business of HR, some 79% of executives are dissatisfied with HR, says a study by global business consultants The Hackett Group. The article identifies some specific areas where dissatisfaction lays within the Talent Management Process (see graphic).

Performance Study - The Hackett Group

The Hackett Group Chief Research Officer Michel Janssen says, “Today’s changing business environment requires that business services organizations retool and radically change their mix of staff to improve their ability to directly impact on business performance. Talent management is key, and business services can’t accomplish this without strong and effective support from HR. Both parties must redouble their efforts to improve their working relationship.”

This poses some questions : Why is this happening and What can we do about it…

For us offering services around Talent Development / Management we are in a perfect position to help close the gap and provide services that will support HR throughout the Talent Management Process.

What can you do to collaborate with HR on:

  • Learning and development?
  • Talent retention?
  • Knowledge sharing?  and help to lessen the gap and make HR look great in the eyes of the executives.

Think about this and post your ideas.


This blog is adapted from the article by John Zappe:  Business Leaders Pin Blame on HR for Worsening Shortage of Talent.  August 15, 2012


Retaining Employees: Part 2

Monday, August 13th, 2012


Continued from Part 1…

Most new employees are in Generation Y, those born after 1980. In many companies, these are the majority of overall employees.  Shifting from one generation to the next has never been easy. Relationships evolve, and so do technologies and ways of communicating.  Generation Y poses additional challenges.  For one thing, its members have a sense of independence that to some senior managers borders on arrogance.  They were raised in homes that were far more egalitarian and child-centered than previous generations and far less parent-dominated, so it’s no surprise that in the workforce Gen Y expects that same independence and attention.

In their favor are several positive attributes.  They are achievement-oriented.  They come to the job with a set of goals and ideas about how to achieve them.  They also reflect the multicultural world they grew up in. 

How can Generation Y be managed?  Many experts have emphasized the social setting of the workplace.  “Make it fun for them” has become a management mantra.  “Show them respect” and “Be flexible” are others.  It’s hard to argue against fun, respect and flexibility, but Bruce Tulgan, author of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y, believes we’ve gone too far in believing the myths about Generation Y.  Tulgan argues that they are not disloyal, will do grunt work and know that work is not always fun.  “GenYers don’t need to be humored in the workplace,” Tulgan argues.  “They need to be taken seriously.  Managers need to hold them to high standards and help them every step of the way to reach those high standards.” 

Another change affecting retention is on the horizon.  Jon Piccoult, writing in the New York Times (Oct. 16, 2010), predicted “layoffs, cutbacks and stress inflicted on employees in the economic downturn have left many of them discontented and disengaged.  As this pent-up frustration is released, the impact on businesses, their work forces and their customer will be pronounced.” 

This will be especially true in business forced to trim costs by downsizing, a tired euphemism for laying off thousands of people and overworking those who stayed on.  The problem will not be with those who were abandoned, but rather those who survived.  They watched management make what seemed to be cruel and arbitrary decisions to cut adrift loyal people while reducing training and development programs for those retained.  It is these people who represent, in Piccoult’s words, the “turnover storm.”  As soon as the economy reheats, these people will be the first to cut their ties to the company.

Turnover hurts business. Costs go up to pay off those heading for the door. Replacing them involves recruiting, interviewing, testing, hiring and training others.  Replacement costs can be up to three or four times the salary of the departing employee.  If turnover is low, a well-financed company can ride out the disruption.  If turnover is sudden and larger than expected, as it may be when the economy turns around, the impact on a company can be devastating.

Can the storm be avoided? Of course…?  Click here to download the full article and find out how.

Retaining Employees: Part 1

Saturday, August 4th, 2012


Was life really simpler in the “old days?”  Consider the retention of employees, for example.  The prescription was pretty clear: pay well, offer good benefits and promote regularly.  Doing so would ensure that people would be satisfied, compliant and loyal enough to stay until retirement.

That gauzy myth wasn’t really true in times past, and certainly isn’t today.  Yes, good pay, benefits are still important, but they are not enough to bond people to a single employer for life, and in some cases, for even a week.  Turnover has become a dominant and disruptive fact of life.

What’s changed?  For one thing, the people in the workplace.  A shift of generational attitudes and expectations succeeding the Baby Boomers is complicating life for managers nurtured under a different set of assumptions.  What’s more, the world they operate in has become increasingly unforgiving.  In many companies, fewer people are doing more work in less time, hardly a relaxing setting.

The result is increased turnover and dislocation.  According to a study by the Wynhurst Group of Arlington, VA, new employees decide whether they feel at home or not in the first three weeks.  About 4 percent leave after the first day, 22 percent in the first 45 days.  Even worse are those who stay for a few years, soak up whatever training is available, and then leave the company.  This represents an intolerable waste of resources in recruiting, orientation and development.

Stay tuned for Part 2….

Getting to the Heart of Employee Engagement And Why It Matters

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

By Kyle Lagunas, HR Analyst with Software Advice, Guest Blogger

Tucker Robeson, CEO of  CDL Helpers, says, “You need to wake up to the fact that if you’re not engaging your employees, you’re hurting them–and your company.”

Although Gallup estimated in 2004 that disengaged workers were costing U.S. businesses a staggering $300 billion a year in productivity losses, engagement is one issue that often goes unaddressed. The reason, I suspect, is that there’s a lack of consensus on what the term “engagement” really means.

For many business leaders, “engagement” is just a buzzword. And before you can tackle engagement, you have to understand what it’s all about–what it is, what it isn’t, and why it matters.

What It Is

Employee engagement is a critical indicator of how successful a business is–and the sustainability of that success. At its heart, employee engagement is about motivation. You can’t “buy” engagement. In fact, when you require a certain standard of service, studies show that motivation can’t be limited to monetary compensation.

To bolster engagement, foster a sense of meaning to an employee’s work, and allow the employee to craft the job to his/her capabilities, strengths, and likes, as much as possible.

What It Isn’t

Engagement isn’t strictly a company culture issue–it’s also an operational issue. It requires an adjustment in how leaders communicate with employees. Engagement should be addressed as a strategic initiative at the upper levels of management, and a tactical issue at the lower ones–and the CEO has to lead off. How you announce important business objectives, how you measure success, how you show appreciation–everything needs to strengthen your employees’ connection with the organization and their work.

Furthermore, employee engagement isn’t an HR initiative. Although HR is often tasked with spearheading projects to boost engagement, Every person in a management role is responsible for driving engagement, especially the CEO.

Why Employee Engagement Matters

Employee engagement has direct, demonstrable impacts on productivity and performance that translate to financial results. When employees are not engaged, they generally aren’t paying attention to their work, and tend to be apathetic about their jobs.

Conversely, companies with engaged employees are reaping significant financial rewards. The Global Workforce Study found that companies with engaged employees “had operating margins almost three times those of organizations with a largely disengaged workforce.” That point alone makes engagement a strategic issue worthy of executives’ attention.

Admittedly, engagement isn’t easy–and cannot be sustained over time without careful attention to very specific elements in the work environment. But with so much on the line, can companies really afford to ignore it?


About the Author: Kyle Lagunas is the HR Analyst at He reports on trends, best practices, and technology in human resources and talent management. This article originally appeared on his HR blog.  Click here to access to the original article.

The New Rules of Mentoring

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

By Guest Blogger: Wendy Murphy

In the past two decades, professional careers have shifted from linear and stable to boundary-less and unpredictable. Technology also is affecting everyone’s careers, with the rapid pace of change requiring workers to have the flexibility to adapt and learn quickly. In this environment, negotiating transitions is an essential career skill, and workers must create stability and certainty for themselves. Relationships are one of the most valuable resources for career development, and mentors are a key source of stability in assisting individuals to successfully adapt to career challenges.   Read the article…


Wendy Marcinkus Murphy is an Assistant Professor of Management with teaching responsibilities in organizational behavior for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Professor Murphy’s research interests are in the area of careers. Her work focuses on mentoring and developmental networks, gender in the workplace, identity issues, and the work-life interface. Specifically, she is interested in the initiation and cultivation of developmental relationships through blended technologies including email and social media.  Read her full bio…

Your Talent is Your Investment: Part 2

Monday, March 26th, 2012

By Jill Heineck, Focus Relocation, Guest Blogger and WOW! transformations Strategic Partner

Talent Development

According to Nettie Nitzberg, principal at WOW! transformations, a talent development consulting firm based in Boston, MA, “inboarding” is just as important for an internal employee beginning a new assignment as onboarding is to a new hire. Nitzberg, who works with global Fortune 500 companies, says that creating an initiative to “on or inboard” an employee into the culture of their new assignment is a great way to help them acclimate to their new organization or department, creating engagement from the first day and ensuring that the organization realizes a return on their talent investment. This, in addition to consistent contact from the hiring manager, HR, and others throughout the move is essential to a successful transition.

As mobile families are already anxiously anticipating changes, intuitive companies recognize that front-end engagement is essential to a successful transition.

“Setting and managing proper expectations is one of the keys to the employee’s success on a new assignment,” said Haesloop. With more than 500 moves per year, UPS is a prime example of how to front-load engagement strategies. “A well-designed assignment objective should be known and understood at the beginning of the assignment.” That, coupled with periodic feedback sessions, will ensure those identified objectives are in scope, Haesloop added. 

Proactive and Innovative Engagement

By taking a proactive approach through innovative engagement strategies, a company can protect the financial, talent, and mobility investments across the organization. “Once an employee has accepted the new assignment, we expect them to be completely engaged in their new assignment and unencumbered by the logistical components associated with getting them and their family to their destination,” said Haesloop. “It is important that your relocation service provider(s) is a trusted partner who knows and understands your culture, relocation strategy and philosophy, and expectations.”


Click here to read the full article in Mobility Issues: March 2012 Issue

To Contact Jill:
Jill Heineck, CRP | Chief Relocation Officer
Phone: 877.550.RELO
Twitter: @jheineck

Your Talent is Your Investment: Part 1

Monday, March 19th, 2012

By Jill Heineck, Focus Relocation, Guest Blogger and WOW! transformations Strategic Partner

Despite the current state of the economy, global companies still need to lay the groundwork for growth. In doing so, planning for an increase in the mobile workforce is a crucial step toward supporting strategic business objectives. This is where it is mission-critical to connect HR’s efforts with talent mobility. After all, without a cohesive, talented team, a company cannot thrive.

Capturing Top Talent

The competition for top talent is a motivating factor for many companies to focus on shoring up internal talent. Momentum for talent mobility appears to be building with companies recognizing its mounting relevance in the workplace. What are the risks if an organization lacks a comprehensive engagement strategy? Top talent may disconnect, or worse, resign if they do not see a clear career path. According to a 2011 Taleo Research white paper, “Australia Talent Mobility,” the growth of the business is jeopardized if the talent pool is clogged with employees lacking the appropriate mix of skills and experience to step up into key roles.

“One of the cornerstones of our philosophy is that we promote from within; so we have a robust annual career development process in place,” said Gina Haesloop, GMS, global mobility manager at UPS in Atlanta, GA. “Our career development process helps individuals continuously grow, learn, and improve throughout their careers. It is more than just promotions or lateral rotations; it is accomplished by combining the individual’s needs with UPS’ current and future business needs. People grow, learn, and improve best when they are given work that provides challenges within their potential, opportunities to use their strongest skills, opportunities to do what interests them, and opportunities to be involved in activities that they value, and to which they feel a strong sense of commitment.”

UPS is not the only company with this attitude. It is becoming the mantra of growing companies as well as global giants, as talent has become a valued asset and critical to continued growth. Turner Broadcasting has several programs in place to excite and engage talent once they have accepted an assignment.

“One way we make a difference in workforce integration is with our community involvement group,” said Jacqueline Welch, senior vice president of international HR at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta. “The group sits down with each employee to see how quickly they can be involved in the greater community outside of Turner.”

This is part of Turner Broadcasting’s Total Rewards program. In addition, Turner Broadcasting offers a unique program in which the relocating employee is paired with another employee who has had a similar role and/or mobile assignment to provide support and a sense of community. “We do a pretty good, precise job of matching up Turner colleagues,” said Welch, explaining the success of the program.


Click here to read the full article in Mobility Issues: March 2012 Issue

To Contact Jill:
Jill Heineck, CRP l Chief Relocation Officer

Phone: 877.550.RELO
Twitter: @jheineck

Clients Will Benefit From beyondboarding™

Monday, February 13th, 2012


When we first started looking at the process of beyondboarding™, we focused on developing a process focused on the workplace.  Beyondboarding™ is an onboarding initiative that goes beyond orientation and takes a strategic approach to employee and organizational growth and development.

However, when we began to talk about beyondboarding™ with customers, prospects and colleagues we realized additional audiences can benefit from a beyondboarding™ approach outside of new or newly promoted employees.

This series will look how to initiate a beyondboarding™ approach with the following audience relationships:


The following are five key steps when beyondboarding™ a new client:

  1. RIGHT:  Any good partnership – especially one with a new client, requires the right fit — with products and services the client is offering or providing; the right talent – the folks working on the team or collaborating with you; and the right company – the reason you selected this client is because there is a culture match.  When selecting a client through the proposal process or pre-boarding phase, you must  ensure that they are the right people or organization to help you reach your goals and will ensure a ROI.
  2. KNOWLEDGE:  As important as it is for you to know the client you are working with, it is just as important for them to know your organization.  This should include things such as your formal and informal culture, values and vision, communication preferences, tips and tricks for working with the team, billing process and network access.   Gaining company and job knowledge from Day 1 helps employees become productive. About 89 percent of new hires lack the institutional knowledge required to get up to speed quickly and become effective on the job within their first 90 days. (Strong Start To Job Success By William C. Byham, Ph.D).  Image the ROI when your new client has strong institutional knowledge from the start.
  3. LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP:  A new employee decides within three weeks whether or not an employer is a right fit; 4 percent of new employees leave a job after the first day; more than 20 percent of employee turnover occurs in the first 45 days. (The Wynhurst Group)Image the impact an onboarding program can have for a new client and the how you could kick-start your relationship by helping them to get to know you/organization from Day 1.
  4. CLARITY:  Like any good employee onboarding program, a new client needs to have focused clarity around roles, responsibilities, deliverables, expectations, and goals, as well as a deeper understanding of the organization to ensure there is no misunderstanding and alignment from beginning to end.
  5. COMMUNICATION: A good manager will also discuss with her new employee the best way to for them to have ongoing communication.  This is imperative in a client relationship, especially at the onset to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, information is clarified, files and documents are sent and received effectively and, most of all, that everyone knows where they stand with the person, client or team members.  Discussing your communication strategy right from the start is a great way to set the foundation for how you will work together.

To make your client relationship a success, begin with a beyondboarding™ mindset.  Consider the five key steps above but remember that is only the beginning.  There are many other things that you can and should be to ensure success

Click here to read more about beyondboarding™ and some of the other components that work developing a long-term and successful relationship with your clients.